on his Death
He wasnít ready to die
Said he hadnít fear
Yet wanted to hear
songs of Heaven
As if to calm a fearful soul
Wouldnít take the morphine
1/2 a tab of Tylenol
heíd take to ease the stabbing ravages
of the devil eating through his guts
As if he sought a penance in the pain
For 80 years of tortured life
Karmaís a bitch
Or maybe thatís the god to whom he prayed
Who let him suffer through that devilís torment months beyond a year
What I recall now
With throat-catching pain
Is the fear of imminent end
While he cynically joked of strangers tossing his ashes in the gutter
Whatever else I thought of him in past years,
I loved him deeply
I ached seeing a weak and withered remnant
of the man a little child had feared and sought to escape.
Even then Iíd sensed
When his rage was brewing
And knew to make myself scarce
Before it blew
casting ďdisciplinaryĒ blow upon blow
Its complicated, isnít it, when death haunts the room?
He feared and fought and dreaded that death
though in his beliefs
It was the gateway to a perfection.
He didnít want to die.
At least he took the morphine that final morning.
At least my aching heart can rest knowing his pain was eased.
Yet here I lay awake at midnight
Remembering an ancient man
With rice-paper skin
And dried up lips
(The same that used to kiss me goodnight)
Sipping drops of water
And whispering that Iím an angel
Remembering how he said,
ďI donít want to die yetĒ
However complicated our years were,
Because I miss that man.
Dad, I didnít want you to die either.